Tag Archives: woodworking

UCWW #19 Tool Tour Eagle America Spline Jig Pro

I’ve built spline jigs before. Quick and dirty ones. It was time for me to get a more permanent, better built spline jig. Eagle America came out with the Spline Jig Pro a while back, and when it went on sale, I bought it.

Assembly took about 30 minutes, that included futzing with the camera and fitting the miter bar to my miter slot. The parts are well machined for the most part, with any problems being cosmetic and not impacting the accuracy of the jig.

Eagle America has assembly and usage videos on their site.

Assembly Tips

  1. Read all the instructions before starting assembly
  2. Don’t fully tighten screws until you’re done with a sub-assembly
  3. Be careful using a screw gun, you’re tightening screws into an insert in MDF
  4. Be careful adjusting the bar to your miter slot – it’s hard to adjust the bar after it’s been installed on the jig
  5. The short screws (there are only two) are used to attach the miter bar to the sled
  6. Well placed holes through the cradle and sled would make miter bar adjustability easier

Usage Tips

  1. Make sure your miter slot is parallel to your blade
  2. Carefully set the angle and height of the blade before making your first cut
  3. The stop push the stop blocks into the base of the cradle to square them up when adjusting

UCWW #18 Tool Tour Grizzly H192 Sander

For Christmas Wifey got me a Grizzly H8192 8″ Disc/1″ Belt Combination Sander. I finally assembled it and gave it a run through.

It’s very similar to the Rikon 50-142, so much so that the Grizzly is an exact ripoff, or they are built in the same factory and painted different colors (except for some handles – check the video).

Overall impressions

  1. There were some areas on the adjustable tables that weren’t machined at all and had to be filed.
  2. The screws that hold the shroud for the disc don’t seem to be the right size, I used my own.
  3. The machine is heavy enough that it does not skid around.
  4. The included abrasive disc was flaking, I’ll use it up and then replace it with my Klingspor Discs.
  5. I’m not sure how decking ideas will work, I don’t think it will work with the belt at all.

Future plans are to build a sanding center with my Ridgid Combo Sander the best belt sander and this on top, with storage underneath for handheld sanders, sandpaper, Tadpoles, and sanding blocks.

Helping Families Make Their Homes Safe and Secure

This might not seem like a woodworking related post, but I think for many woodworkers, this would be a good way to provide a useful service, use their skills, and make some money.

My wife and I have a friend who lives alone with her children. They recently moved into a nice neighborhood, and she asked for help making sure her home was safe and secure. I looked online and asked a friend who is a police officer for tips on what to do. After looking at that list I realized that some homeowners would have a tough time getting through that list on their own. If they were to hire out the work, they’d need to hire a few different companies and that would be expensive.

The To-Do List

Physical Security of the Property

  1. Reset the garage door openers to disable all existing transmitters, and get owner transmitters working. This ensures any previous occupant is locked out.
  2. Replace all locks in the house with new deadbolts that are keyed the same. When the door has a sidelight, require a key on the inside and outside of the lock.
  3. Add peepholes to exterior doors.
  4. Add chain latches to exterior doors.
  5. Cut 1″ dowels to length for all sliding windows and sliding doors.
  6. Make sure all outdoor landscaping doesn’t facilitate break-ins.
  7. Make sure outdoor lighting is adequate and on timers or motion detectors.
  8. Repair fences and gates.

Interior Safety

  1. Secure tall furniture with anti-tip straps.
  2. Bolt down a safe to secure valuables, important documents, firearms.
  3. Check the water heater temperature.
  4. Show the owner how to shut off electricity, gas, water.

Electronics

  1. Reset WiFi access codes, computer passwords, email passwords, etc. to lock out former occupants.
  2. Reset alarm codes to lock out former occupants.
  3. Reset the pass-phrase used when on the phone with the alarm company.
  4. Change voice-mail passwords and cellphone pass-codes.
  5. Replace all smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarm batteries.

Getting the Right List

This is a good start and if hired out separately would require a handyman, computer tech, landscaper, electrician, locksmith….

Many local police departments will do a walk-through make additional recommendations, so there are likely other things to do. Alarm companies also have good information about ways to secure the home. It’s best if you don’t position yourself as a security expert, get the recommendations from the police department and/or alarm company and then go through the list with the homeowner. Position yourself as the best person to do the work on the list. There may be jobs that even you don’t want to do or shouldn’t do, and should be hired out, like trimming the landscaping or inspecting and repairing chimneys – no thanks!

When is this Service Needed

  • Moving into a home, especially if that home had previous owners
  • After a room-mate moves out
  • After a divorce or separation

It’s a good idea to go through a home security checklist periodically even if you’ve lived in your home for a while. For example: if your smoke alarms went off in the middle of the night and your family evacuated your home, does everyone know where to meet? Does everyone in the home know to keep their keys, checkbooks, garage door openers, etc. in a secure place in the home?

Put Your Skills to Good Use

Most woodworkers I know have skills in doing Long Fence Patios, and would do a great job doing this type of work. The doors may need new mortises and holes for the deadbolt locks and peepholes. The doors I worked on were not in good shape and needed some stripped holes repaired so that screws would tighten securely. Window dowels would be nicer if sanded, spray lacquered, and capped (I found 1″ oak dowel with 1″ white plastic end caps at the big box store). There are lots of things to do and that could overwhelm a new owner.

Tell Me What You Think

For our friend, I did this for free. But what if in your community you offered this as a service? What else would you add to the list? Would you see this as a valuable service that could make a customer happy and make you some extra money?